Apple's new Macbooks come with 'Touch Bar' instead of function keys

  • 28/10/2016
The Touch Bar in action (Getty)
The Touch Bar in action (Getty)

Apple has introduced a new generation of Macbook Pros at a press event in Cupertino, California, unveiling the first Macbooks that come with a dedicated touch screen in lieu of traditional function bars.

The new Touch Bar, which is located just above the traditional keyboard, can be used for context-specific input, unlocking different functionality depending on each and every app.

During the press event, presenters demonstrated the use of the Touch Bar for video editing with a new version of Final Cut Pro, picture editing with Photoshop, and as a DJ for Algoriddim's DJ app.

Apple is also adding Touch ID to these new laptops, making it possible to switch computer accounts and secure online shopping with fingerprint recognition. The company will sell a 13-inch Macbook Pro with Touch Bar at various configurations starting at $2499, and a 15-inch version starting at $3999.

Apple's new Macbooks come with 'Touch Bar' instead of function keys

Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller speaks on the new Apple Touch Bar (Getty)

Aside from Touch Bar and Touch ID, both machines also feature other hardware updates, with faster processors, brighter screens and an overall lighter weight.

The cheapest 13-inch has a 2.0 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage, and ships today. It doesn't have the Touch Bar.

But for $2999 you get the Tough Bar, a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage. That one ships in a few weeks.

The cheaper 15-inch model has the Touch Bar and Touch ID, a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage. It ships in a few weeks also.

For $4699, you get twice as much storage and a better processor.

But there are also some changes that may not go over well with everyone: Apple is ditching some ports on the Macbook Pro, including the HDMI port and SD card slot included with older models. Instead, it is adding more Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The company is also shipping both devices with smaller batteries than the ones it used for previous-generation Macbook Pros, which could affect how long consumers will be able to use the devices without plugging them in.

Reuters / Newshub.

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